Desktop virtualization is the second-fastest growing of all virtualization technologies. According to EMA research, around 26 percent of respondents had adopted or were planning to adopt desktop virtualization in 2006; but that number has almost doubled to 46 percent by 2008.
For institutions, the technology has valuable applicability: fault tolerant endpoints for the trading floor; single sign-on application access for the call center; easy desktop management for branch and remote workforces; productive workspaces for telecommuters and mobile workers; and guaranteed anywhere access for disaster recovery applications.
But the real business case lies in the impact workspace virtualization can have on an institution’s top- and bottom-line. Here are 12 reasons that should make this IT investment a done deal for financial institutions looking to thrive (not just survive) in a tough economy
1. On-demand access to applications from any location.
With streaming technology, users can access their workspaces and applications from anywhere, anytime. That access drives user productivity and is a direct contributor to the top line.
A Day in the Life of a Power User – In the virtual reality, a user isn’t tied to her desk to be productive. Take Kelly, for instance, who is stuck in Aruba on a vacation gone awry – with no chance of getting home in time to finish an important business plan for this quarter’s board meeting. She finds her way to a local Internet café and logs in to the portal. Her workspace is waiting for her there, just the way she left it in the office. She has instant access to all the applications and data she needs. Instead of taking precious time to install specific applications, she’s productive from minute one. Kelly completes her plan and forwards it to the board members. She might not make the meeting, but her plan will.
2. Save time with delta-only updates.
Less downtime has its own impact on the top line. Delta-only updates ensure that users always have the right version of the right application, without surrendering their systems for upgrades—so they’re always ready to work.
3. Proactive license compliance.
A streaming platform manages application licenses and user authorizations. That means institutions will always be in compliance, avoiding surprise license consumption come end-of-year inventory.
4. Reduce license costs by eliminating unnecessary deployments.
For even deeper cuts, institutions no longer pay for licenses that may never be used. By deploying only icons, applications are only installed when they’re actually used.
5. Optimize license costs.
Additionally, institutions can proactively recover licenses for unused applications. If an application goes unused for an unusual amount of time, that unnecessary cost can be recouped.
6. Instant endpoint configuration based upon domain login.
As users move from endpoint to endpoint, the system configures applications based on their login. That means a common OS image can be used across the masses for untold IT efficiencies.
7. Increase the stability of endpoints.
Application virtualization separates applications from other applications and the OS so there are no dependencies or conflicts, resulting in greater availability of the workspace and less downtime for users.
8. Save time by eliminating pre-deployment testing of new and updated applications.
Pre-deployment testing is a necessary albeit time-consuming task that can delay installs or updates. With virtualization, there are no conflicts, so testing isn’t required, and installs and updates happen instantaneously to free IT resources and users alike.
9. Allow for instant application repair without redelivery.
Broken applications are a huge drain on IT resources with tasks like troubleshooting, testing, remediating, and redeploying software. Virtualization can reset applications to their “known good state” so folks can put those fixes behind them and get to work.
10. Central management of users, applications and workstations.
A desktop connection broker can dynamically allocate traditional and virtual computing resources like information, user profiles and applications to the endpoint regardless of device—thus reducing IT workloads.
11. Use Single Sign On to simplify and secure user access.
User access can be a one-step process, leveraging various authentication methods. They don’t have to re-authenticate as they move from application to application, so they’re more productive.
12. Simplify endpoint management.
A single, centralized management system is used across all platforms—local or remote, virtual or not. There’s one setting per user, per application no matter the endpoint, yielding much less resource-intensive management and huge cost savings.
A Day in the Life of an IT Staffer – Virtual workspace management frees IT resources from the many challenges that plague traditional desktop environments. Consider Steve, a harried IT guy who is hit with a particularly nasty virus that’s corrupting Microsoft Word—a popular application that can potentially impact all employee workstations, local and remote. In the old world, Steve would have had a busy morning, traipsing from desktop to desktop reinstalling the application. But in virtual reality, Steve sits back and in a matter of a couple of keystrokes he reverts Word back to its last known working state—on all 350 workspaces. Crisis averted, and his users remain unawares.
“Security can be a tough sell, regardless of the economy,” concludes Enterprise Management Associates’. “And risk management is not always a top priority.” But when you consider the impact that workspace virtualization has on an institution’s top- and bottom-line, as outlined in these twelve sound business points, then you might agree: A well-managed workspace is a secure workspace. And what price do you put on that?